Simple Tips To Make Design Work  For You And Your Brand

Simple Tips To Make Design Work For You And Your Brand

Like many of you, I’m excited about 2017 and the possibilities for another successful year. To achieve that success all of us need to be looking for ways we can improve, and over the years I’ve noticed that one extremely important area where people can improve is in the design on their websites and on their social media platforms. I’ve always felt that the content of your copy and the design that enhances that content are equally important. You can have great content on your website, for example, but if the design accompanying it is unprofessional, visitors will zip right past it in search of something more credible. At the same time, a captivating design can grab people’s attention, but if it turns out that you’re all flash without substance, they may leave and never return. Over the last several months it seems that I’ve shared a lot with you about the content side of things – what to say, how to say it and when to say it. I’ve been a lot less focused on design, but let’s remedy that right now. Quite some time ago we recognized just how essential graphic elements are in brand promotion and that’s why our team includes Becky Lofgren, our in-house graphic designer, who works solely with our social media clients. Becky shared with me a few simple things you can do to help get the most out of your design. Select the right color. Any color that appeals to you is a good one, right? Not exactly. Colors can evoke certain emotions so you want to choose a color that sends...
How Social Media Turns You Into A Valuable Media Commodity

How Social Media Turns You Into A Valuable Media Commodity

If you’re savvy enough to be using social media as part of your branding efforts – and I know that you are – then you’re also savvy enough to want to get the most out of those efforts. After all, when you’re using social media for personal or business branding, you’re not out to learn how many of your high school classmates have grandchildren, or “like” the photos of your niece’s wedding. Instead, your goal – or at least one of your goals – is to build a loyal following and then leverage that following to enhance your marketing and branding efforts as an authority in your field. Because here’s the thing: the greater your following, the more intriguing you’ll appear to the media gatekeepers you’re trying to attract to spread your message. Let’s face it, most people in the media are inundated with requests from people who have a story to tell, a product to sell or a service to promote. If you manage to cut through all that clutter and get on the media’s radar, one of the first things they will do is Google your name or your company’s name and check out your presence on social media. It gives your credibility a strong boost if the media find that you are widely followed on social media sites. Here are just a few ways your social media following can pay marketing dividends for you: A large, built-in following makes you an asset to the media. The bigger your following the more impressive you’ll look when the media take a peek into your online world. As a...
What’s The Value Of A ‘Like’?

What’s The Value Of A ‘Like’?

Social media and its role in marketing can be quite the puzzle – even for some of those who are sold on the benefits. They check their “likes” and they figure that a bigger number is better than a smaller one, but beyond that they are perplexed. “What does it all mean?” they wonder. In short, I racked up a bunch of likes but the question remains: what’s the value of a like? I was talking about this very topic this morning with Jay York, EMSI’s senior social media strategist, about how easy it is to overlook the fact that those likes so many people are chasing have more value than initially meets the eye. But before we look at that, we need to re-visit briefly how it is that people interact – or don’t – on social media. Most of us probably know people who are extraordinarily active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms. They post their views on the presidential debate or share a fascinating article they read on a science magazine’s website. They let you know their child scored a goal in soccer, that they’re dining at an Italian restaurant tonight or that they just installed new kitchen tile. They also routinely comment on, like or share what others post. Then there are those who rarely if ever post anything. Essentially, they are spectators, not participants. But that doesn’t mean they’re unaffected by what they see because people retain a lot of the information they see even if they aren’t active on social media. Both types of social media users come into play when you’re...
How To Grow A Social Media Following Using Resources You Already Have

How To Grow A Social Media Following Using Resources You Already Have

At one time or another we all probably have dreamed about what we could accomplish if we had unlimited resources. Of course, for most of us the “unlimited resources” situation never progresses beyond that dream stage. But maybe that doesn’t always matter. Just this morning, Jay York, EMSI’s senior social media strategist, was sharing with me how anyone can begin growing the number of followers they have on social media right now, using nothing more than the resources they already have at hand. Before you know it, you could have an impressive social media network of potential clients or customers, connecting them to your website and staying in front of them as much as possible until the day arrives when they have a need for what you have to offer. The payoff can be a long time coming, but just getting out there and being a part of their thought process at some level is important. That’s why even well-established brands such as McDonald’s or Coca-Cola – companies that need no introduction – continue to advertise through traditional channels as well as on social media to keep their products in front of you. They are after that top-of-mind awareness. So let’s take a look at how you can grow your following on social media by using the resources you already have available. Here are a few of Jay’s tips: Make use of current contacts. You probably already have an email list of clients or customers, plus people who have expressed an interest in what you have to offer. You may also have a newsletter list. Draft an email encouraging...
Managing Your Expectations For Social Media Marketing

Managing Your Expectations For Social Media Marketing

I’ve found that sometimes even clients who are enthused about their social media campaigns aren’t always clear on what to expect from them. Their usual ways of measuring success – such as how many leads or sales were generated – don’t really apply with social media marketing, and that leaves them puzzled. In speaking this morning with Jay York, our senior social media strategist about clients’ expectations, he made some great points that I wanted to share with you. He said, “People mistakenly focus too much on ‘likes’ and figure the more likes the better.” Certainly, likes are important and more is better than less. But it can take a long time to start collecting a lot of likes, and ultimately they aren’t the most significant factor to measure anyway, Jay says. For example, the number of people you’re reaching can grow much more quickly than your likes. Your reach might even quadruple in a month and that’s a much superior way of measuring how things are progressing. So just what are the best ways to calculate whether you’re setting and achieving realistic goals on social media? Here are a few things Jay says you should expect from your efforts: Growth of followers. You definitely should see growth in your number of social media followers, but beware of trying to compare your growth to others or putting too much value on follower count. A company with a well-established brand, or one that has a product for which there is widespread need or demand, is going to see growth much more quickly than a company that hasn’t had much exposure....
Sizing Up The Value Of Social Media

Sizing Up The Value Of Social Media

Social media has been a critical piece of the brand-building puzzle for so many years now that you’d think its value no longer needs explaining. Yet every time I think we’ve reached the point where explanations are unnecessary, something occurs that reminds me that maybe that moment hasn’t arrived just yet. In fact, just recently we had a conversation with a new client who was trying to understand why social media is valuable to his branding efforts. To his credit, he really was trying to get it, that’s why he signed up for it. He just needed some reassurance, as do many people who aren’t exactly sure of its value to their overall marketing strategy. I think that too often people or businesses launch a social media campaign with great enthusiasm, but lose steam quickly when they don’t see instant results. They’re often looking at social media as a lead generator or as a direct-sell campaign, and it’s simply not that. Instead, social media is a way to build brand recognition over time by getting your name or your company’s name out there, staying in front of potential customers, clients or readers on a daily basis. While I don’t like using clichés, this is truly a marathon, not a sprint; something that you’re in for the long haul. Let’s take a look at a few aspects of social media and why you have to be there! Social media supports your other marketing efforts. A social media presence is just one of the many things you should be doing to build or promote your brand. Ideally, you want a multi-channel...